Collegiate Running Association announces 2017 Athletes of the Year

Press release from ATRA strategic partner Collegiate Running Association (CRA).  This announcement was originally posted on the Collegiate Running website.  Become a free member of the Collegiate Running Association by clicking here.

Patrick Smyth (Santa Fe, NM / University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Corey Dowe (Barrington, NH / University of New England) have been named the 2017 Collegiate Running Association Athletes of the Year.

2017 Male Athlete of the Year – Patrick Smyth

2014 & 2015 Collegiate Mountain Running Champion Patrick Smyth returned to the classroom to pursue a second master’s degree in 2017, yet still managed to claim the 2017 Collegiate Mountain Running Championship title. Smyth also placed second in the U.S. Championship held concurrently within the Cranmore Mountain Race in (Conway, NH). With personal bests of 13:39 (5K), 28:25.85 (10K), 62:01 (Half-Marathon) and 2:15 (Marathon), and the ability to cruise on the rugged terrain faced in mountain and trail running, it is easy to see why Patrick Smyth has claimed three out of four Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship titles (2014, 2015 & 2017) in addition to being a 3-time Xterra Trail Run World Champion (2013, 2014 & 2015).

Patrick at the 2014 World Mountain Running Championships in Italy.

Smyth has shown a remarkable ability to balance competition at the world level with outstanding academic success. After completing his Bachelor of Art (B.A.) in History at Notre Dame in 2009, where he earned All-America honors 7 times, Smyth quickly became an international force on the mountain and trail running scene. Smyth completed his Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Studies from the University of Utah in 2015, and is now pursuing a another M.S. in Geographic Information Systems / Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison while working a fulltime job in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Smyth’s 2017 was highlighted with his 1st-place finish in the Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship and 2nd-place finish in the USATF Mountain Running Championships, where he finished only behind 2015 CRA Athlete of the Year and 2016 World Mountain Running Champion, Joe Gray. With his finish, Smyth also earned an automatic berth to represent the US Mountain Running Team at the World Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy, where he placed 10th individually and helped the U.S. team to the Bronze Medal.

Patrick after finishing the 2017 USATF Mountain Running Championships.

The challenges faced in the pursuit of a second master’s degree, national and international competition, travel, and the intense training it takes to be competitive at the world level each take an astonishing ability to keep perspective. As the academic and athletic pressures mount, time management is critical, and keeping on task is an important part of daily planning. “For me it’s the constraints of school, a job, and travel that help me to strike a balance between life and high-level competition. Those constraints are what gives me focus and drive.”

2017 Female Athlete of the Year – Corey Dowe

Dowe, who runs for Runner’s Alley Elite Racing Team, won the 2017 Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship in North Conway, NH, and placed 6th in the U.S. Championship held concurrently within the Cranmore Mountain Race.

A household name on the running scene in New Hampshire, Dowe was named the 2017 New Hampshire Women’s Runner of the Year by Foster’s Daily Democrat and was the Seacoast Racing Series Female Winner.

Dowe earned a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University in 2015 and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of New England in December 2017, and plans to have a career in promoting healthy lifestyles. In giving back, Dowe has already shared her passion and knowledge with local high school and middle school aged runners, and promoted her passion for personal health while substitute teaching. Along with the full-time pursuit of her Master’s degree, Dowe has assisted the Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (Northwood, NH) cross country and track & field teams since 2016. This past fall, Dowe was also an intern at Strafford County Public Health Network (Somersworth, NH), and served as chaperone for Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s Cross Country Camp last July (Bar Harbor, ME). “I think that it is important to engage individuals at a young age in enjoying healthy activities and foods and look forward to such a rewarding and enjoyable career field,” said Dowe.

Corey at the 2017 USATF Mountain Running Championships

When asked what highlighted her year on the racing scene, said Dowe: “The Cranmore Mountain race was definitely the most exciting and different race that I did all year. It was a blast running up and down the mountain twice and experiencing the mountain racing atmosphere! I also raced the Peeper 5k in my hometown, which is the first 5k I ever did as a child. I enjoy doing this race, because it is an out and back course that I am very familiar with and I am able to cheer for friends and family along the way. This year I had some childhood friends racing in it with me and was able to battle with one of them who ended up being the top male finisher. Another special race was Marina’s Miles, which was a 5k in memory of a high school competitor of mine who passed away in her college years. She was one of the most kind-hearted and genuine people that I have ever met, and it was a delight to run the race in her memory and see the number of individuals whose lives she touched.”

Dowe explained balancing a professional career, competitive running and a busy volunteer work has become a lifestyle: “All through high school and undergrad I balanced school work and running, so it is just the norm for me at this point to balance multiple aspects of life. My first priority throughout my Master’s program was school and getting the most out of my classes that I could. I held part time jobs along the way, and finished up with an internship. I make sure to get the proper amount of sleep and nutrition to fuel my body, which is most important in keeping healthy for all aspects of my life. Rather than following a stringent running schedule as I had done throughout high school and undergrad, I ran what I felt like doing each day, or paced the high school team during workouts. I chose not to travel too far for races this year to save money, and used races as my hard workouts on most weeks. I have been fortunate enough to have had a successful year and supportive friends and family by my side the whole way, and I think the ability to balance all aspects of my life and not have any one area take control contributed to much of that success.”

Each year the Collegiate Running Association recognizes one male and one female athlete within our membership for their outstanding efforts. “2017 has been another great year with inspiring successes by Collegiate Running Association members,” said Steve Taylor, Co-Founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “Both Patrick and Corey are dedicated students and amazing athletes. They are among the top collegians who serve as an example for other college students balancing training, work and academic pressures faced daily. Competitive, successful, and dedicated, they have a love of the sport and support its growth across the multiple disciplines the Collegiate Running Association promotes (road, mountain and trail running).”

Patrick Smyth Race Results in 2017

Race Name – Location – Date – Place – Time
Way to Cool 50k – Auburn, CA – March 8th – 3:33
Bay to Breakers 12k – San Francisco, CA – May 6th – 36:01
Collegiate Mtn Running Championship – Conway, NH – June 1st – 46:12
U.S. Mountain Running Championship – Conway, NH – June 2nd – 46:12
World Mountain Running Championship – Premana, Italy – July 7th – 57:19 (U.S. Team Bronze Medal)
Ultra Pirineu 45K – Catalonia, Spain – Sept 4th – 3:30

Patrick Smyth Race Career Highlights

2015 U.S. Mountain Running Champion
2015 U.S. World Cross Country Team Member (Guiyang, China-36th place)
2015 Way Too Cool 50k Champion – Course Record Holder
2014, 2015 & 2017 Collegiate Mountain Running National Champion
2014 World Mountain Running Championships (Casette di Massa, Italy-10th place)
2014, 2015 U.S. Trail Half-Marathon Champion
2013, 2014, 2015 Xterra Trail Run World Champion (Oahu, HI)

Road Race
2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials (8th)
2016 New York City Marathon (10th)
2016 San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon (63:20, NYC tune-up-2nd place)
2016 Xterra Trail Run U.S Champion (Snowbasin, UT)

Corey Dowe Race Results in 2017

Race Name – Location – Date – Place – Time
NHTI Delta Dental 5k – Concord, NH – 4/21/17 – 1st – 17:29
Peeper 5k – Barrington, NH – 5/13/17 – 1st – 17:35
Redhook Memorial 5k – Portsmouth, NH – 5/28/17 – 1st – 17:30
Collegiate Mtn Running Championship – Conway, NH – 6/3/17 – 1st – 1:00:09
U.S. Mountain Running Championship – Conway, NH – 6/3/17 – 6th – 1:00:09
Saunders at Rye Harbor 10k – Rye, NH – 8/17/17 – 2nd – 39:05
Fox Point Sunset 5 Miler – Newington, NH – 9/9/17 – 1st – 29:27
Great Bay 5k – Stratham, NH – 10/28/17 – 1st – 17:18
Runaway Pumpkin 5k – Laconia, NH – 10/14/17 – 1st – 17:31

Collegiate Running Association Athletes of the Year:
2017: Corey Dowe (University of New England, NH) and Patrick Smyth (University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI)
2016: Bethany Sachtleben (Northern Virginia College, VA) and Hayden Hawks (Southern Utah University, UT)
2015: Kellyn Taylor (Coconino College, AZ) and Joseph Gray (Calvary Bible College, CO)
2014: Megan Deakins Roche (Stanford University, CA) and Tyler McCandless (Penn State University, PA)

The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded November, 2013 with a mission to promote healthy lifestyles among college students by providing and expanding opportunities in the sport of running. The vision of the CRA is to offer national championship events in road, mountain, and trail running with prize money specifically reserved for college students enrolled in at least one class. Since 2014, the CRA has awarded over $80,000 in prize money specifically to college students in road, mountain and trail running events. Membership is open to the public (click here).

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